New Delhi: Eight rhino calves are among 107 animals rescued from the Kaziranga National Park which has been badly hit by the floods in Assam as the situation continued to remain grim on Tuesday.
Eighty per cent of Kaziranga National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is under flood waters. Mobile Veternary Units of Centre for Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation (CWRC) has so far rescued 62 hog deer, three eastern swamp deer, 10 Asian one-horned rhinoceros, and eight rhinos calves separated from their mothers, according to a Wildlife Trust of India release.
CWRC is wildlife rescue, care and rehabilitation facility run jointly by WTI, International Fund for Animal Welfare and the Assam Forest Department (AFD). “Several of these animals will require long-term care once we look beyond the current situation towards possible rehabilitation into the wild,” said Dr Rathin Barman, deputy director, WTI and the Centre-in-charge.
Dr Panjit Basumatary, lead veterinarian at the centre said, “A large number of the animals, as you would expect from the trauma they have undergone, are highly stressed. Several of the orphaned rhino calves in particular were injured and emaciated, and were initially not responding to our milk formula.”
There were instances of a large number of casualties, particular hog deer, from vehicular traffic as there was unprecedented animal movement in search for higher ground. “The sudden influx of rescued animals—especially the large number of rhino calves—into CWRC has stretched the centre’s resources to the limit”, according to the press release.
Kaziranga National Park is home to 35 species of mammals, and has 2,400 one-horned rhinoceros, 20,000 hog deer, 100 tigers, 1,000 elephants and 1,500 wild buffaloes among others.